Monday 31 January 2022

Help Support Fenris Games

I'm changing from my planned progress report on my tournament painting to bring you news of some awesome toy soldiers from a small company that needs supporting. You'll have seen a bunch of models I've painted by Fenris Games over the past year or two. The company is excellent, Ian who runs it is excellent.

They are running a crowd funder for some more Wyrdworld models, and a Goatkin warband. Normally, you'd expect this sort of thing to be on Kickstarter. Unfortunately, Kickstarter has announced that they're getting into "Crypto" technologies, which are broadly a useless scam that destroy the environment. So, Ian has chosen to run his latest pre-order through his website and Ko-Fi. (In Ko-Fi, click on the "Commissions" tab to order.)

It's important to support small wargaming companies so they stick around in normal circumstances. In this instance, Ian has chosen to do the right thing morally, and it's probably going to cost him quite a bit in terms of actual money to run his business. If you can spare some cash, please do help him out.

The first of the two big "themes" of models in this release are an assortment of horrible Goatkin. These nasty mutated monsters could be used as Broo in Runequest or Chaos Beastmen Warhammer or Age of Sigmar. (It's almost like they're very similar...) They would also work really well as Animal Cultists in Mork Borg Forbidden Psalm.

There's also some additional Wyrdworld characters, following on from the last Kickstarter. These animal folk could be good for RPGs, Frostgrave, or any miniatures agnostic skirmish game.

The pre-order is only up for a couple of weeks, so please do drop in and chip in to offer some support for a company that's putting money on the line for the sake of their principles.

Normal service on the blog will resume from the next scheduled post.

Friday 28 January 2022

Salute 2021: Maiden UK

Another company using 3D printing to produce interesting things at Salute is Maiden UK.

They mostly print things to order, but had a few examples for sale on the day, both painted and unpainted.

I'd hoped to get back to them on the day to pick up some of their painted pieces, but sadly ran out of time and cash on the day.

There were some really quite large pieces available that I was very impressed by.

Several of these could absolutely be a centrepiece to a gaming table or a roleplaying scenario. The Maiden UK site is definitely worth a look.

Wednesday 26 January 2022

Infinity White Company - John Hawkwood

Part of the Infinity: Defiance Kickstarter was a model for John Hawkwood, the leader of the White Company mercenary faction. I've already got a bunch of White Company from the Operation Kaldstrom box and a few bits and bobs I had lying around. I've got another batch out for commission at the moment, too.

However, I decided for this figure to commission That Mr Shy to paint him. He's absolutely knocked it out of the park. I'll still need to get a few more figures done before I'm ready to put the White Company on the table - I'm expecting to do so towards the end of the summer when the new tournament season starts. In the meantime, the plan is for me to keep going with my Shasvastii.

Monday 24 January 2022

Realising you've already achieved a life goal (and not noticed)

The painting for St Albans Smackdown continues, with some models starting to get finished. Not quite as quick as I'd like, but still getting there. I haven't quite got my photography quite right yet - the models are still ending up a bit darker than I'd want. I might try a darker background and see if that helps the iPhone work it all out.

I was having a little trouble getting going, completely irrationally, so I picked some of the easier models I need to get done to get an early win. First up is this HVT model - he's sold as an "O-12 delegate", but for my Combined Army, he's clearly a Speculo Agent, or maybe a traitor human.

I also got the Defiance Turrets sorted to work as the free defensive turret you get in Countermeasures. They didn't need too many colours to get a perfectly serviceable paint job on.

I had a small revelation this evening while chatting on a Facebook Messenger chat with a bunch of other hobbyists. They were showing the squads they were working on for their 40K armies, and I was reminded one of my "hobby life goals" was working away at an army I was painting all myself for events, picking a few models at a time to paint.

For a moment, I regretted how long it would be until I could get around to that. Then I remembered that while I'd always thought of that in terms of Games Workshop armies, I was actually achieving it, right now, this weekend, with my Shasvastii Infinity army. It was a bit weird to go from wistful looking forward to the future to realising that you're already in the future.

I could have really done with more models being finished by now. The Taigha are about a third done now. Still, if I can get a bit of painting done in the evenings this week and have a slightly more productive weekend next weekend, it's all still totally achievable.

I've got a final practice game for Countermeasures this week. Hopefully, it won't throw up anything I need to change for the list as I really don't have time to paint any additional models!

While I was waiting for some contrast to dry I cleaned, assembled and undercoated this Candy figure from the Reaper Chronoscope range. I am exercising a lot of willpower not to paint her while there's still so many Shasvastii needing painting. She should be a fun Contrast paint job once the Shasvastii are done, though.

This weeks arrival in the post fortunately doesn't need painting. The Tal'Dorei Reborn book is a Critical Role D&D book, covering the continent the first campaign was set in. It's not an official D&D book, like the Explorer's Guide to Wildemount (the continent of the second campaign), but there is an official Critical Role adventure coming later this year.

I'm reading it as a break when I'm too tired to concentrate on painting, and I'm having a few thoughts about it. I might try and form them into a cohesive blog post once I've finished reading it all, if I can find the time. It might end up being a February article if I do write it. Tournament painting definitely needs to come first!

Friday 21 January 2022

Salute 2021: Leaden Lens

One of the more unusual companies at Salute last year was Leaden Lens. They're a company that specialises in doing miniature photography. I'm not sure how well they did, but it was nice to see people trying something new in the wargaming space.

Wednesday 19 January 2022

Deathwatch - Proteus Kill Team Options

Continuing the Deathwatch I had painted by Squiggle's Studio, here's all the models I have that can go into a Proteus Kill Team - in other words, not Primaris Marines. First up are a squad of Deathwatch Veterans that I got in the Death Masque box. I asked for them to have a variety of models so I could learn how they worked a bit - I'll probably get some more weapons options bought and painted up once I've had some games.

I also had an old Forge World limited edition Minotaur with a Heavy Bolter I'd not been sure what to do with that I realised could be a Deathwatch Veteran with a change of shoulder pad, so he's joined the army.

I got three bikes in the "Supply Drop" box that I got as a bit of a gamble. On reflection, it wasn't a great gamble and I probably wouldn't do it again. The bikes and the Arcoflagellants were about all I ended up using from it, and while I could have got a bunch of Chapter specific characters turned into Deathwatch characters, I actually already had a bit of a surplus of Deathwatch characters so they're heading for the eBay pile instead.

I also got the Vanguard Veterans from Death Masque painted up. I've since learned from Goonhammer that the optimal load out for Vanguard Veterans is widely held to be Lightning Claw and Storm Shield, but for now, they'll have to live with a more aggressive build, and I'll see how they go.

I'm not planning to go Out just yet - infection numbers remain way too high for me to merit it. I'd say "maybe on blah date", but one of my ways of trying to stay together in all this is to plan absolutely nothing that could be impacted by changes in the wider situation. We'll see how it goes.

Monday 17 January 2022

Settling into a routine

So, preparation for St Albans Smackdown continues apace. First up, I've assembled and undercoated my Defiance Breach Markers to use as Taighas. Pretty much every list I've tested has some, and they're incredibly useful for Shasvastii lists.

I've also cleaned up and undercoated the Defiance turret models so I can use one as a reaction turret for the mission that has it. With those done that's everything I might need to use assembled and undercoated, so even if I don't get my painting done on time, I can still play!

I had, however, forgotten that the Countermeasures mission requires three civilian (HVT) models, so I've dug out the other two I already had assembled so they can see some paint too.

My test missions so far have shown I'm almost certainly not going to want to use the E-drone or the Cadmus Hacker in my lists. However, a bunch of the drafts are ending up including Corax Hasht, and some are using a Nox Hacker. Now, I could use one of my painted Nox Troopers with Combi Rifles I already have painted for the latter, but getting him out so I can use the right model if I do well with the painting is a good shout.

I also got the supply crates and dead bodies cleaned in time to undercoat, although I didn't get to the consoles and doors. With this batch of undercoating done, they're going to the bottom of the pile as I switch my focus to painting for the next few weeks.

I was particularly pleased this week with how I got a little hobby done some evenings after work, and also managed to get in some undercoating on my lunch breaks while the weather was good rather than needing to wait for the weekend.

I got a commission back from That Mr Shy, and I'll be showing that off later as it deserves its own post. He was kind enough to include a miniature in the box for me to paint. The focus for now is getting ready for St Albans Smackdown, so I'll probably look to get her assembled in February after the tournament, unless I finish early.

If this was a video I'd insert a clip of me laughing hollowly at this point. When has my hobby stuff ever been early?

Also arriving to the flat were 16 miniatures from the Arcworlde Comic Kickstarter. I already loved the Arcworlde range, but these were the first computer sculpted miniatures for the range and they absolutely blew me out of the water. The detail they can get in single cast resin is incredible, and the larger models with multiple parts fit together incredibly snugly.

So, February's assembly roster seems to be one metal Reaper figure and 16 Arcworlde models. I should also probably look at getting some of my Salute purchases together. My, it's really piling up, isn't it?

Recent news from Corvus Belli has also changed my "what to buy" plans. They've announced that in April, the Morat Aggression Force is going to be discontinued. I have been planning for a while to expand into the wider Combined Army once I'd got my Shasvastii painted, and there's around 36 or so Morat models on the list for discontinuing that I don't have.

I have no intention of trying to hunt down that many models on the second hand market after they've been discontinued. So, Dungeon Bowl is sadly being put to one side as a target for now in favour of soon to be discontinued models for a faction I'm already playing.

Without a particular project deadline post St Albans Smackdown, I'm thinking spending a little time painting random cool models would be a good way of getting to the point where I've got enough painted to get the Morats.

This is feeling pretty positive. I haven't quite got regular hobby into my routine just yet, but it's feeling like I'm getting regular progress, which is good for my morale. Hobbies are things we should enjoy, after all!

Friday 14 January 2022

Salute 2021: Mantic Deadzone

One of the bigger companies at Salute was Mantic Games, who were showing off their new edition of Deadzone.

Deadzone is Mantic's sci fi skirmish game. It uses large squares as part of the mechanics. It looks quite fun, but I'm trying not to start any new games right now . . .

Wednesday 12 January 2022

Deathwatch - Kill Team Cassius

I originally picked up the Deathwatch: Overkill box when it came out because the first release of plastic Deathwatch and Genestealer Cults was something I was super excited about.

Kill Team Cassius have been carried over into 40K as a Troops option for the Deathwatch army. You can't customise their equipment, but that's not necessarily a bad thing while I'm learning the army.

Chaplain Cassius is the namesake of the team. I'm not sure if he's at all different to a "normal" Chaplain, but I guess I'll find out!

There's also a Librarian in the team, so I'll have a good opportunity to learn the Space Marine and Deathwatch psychic powers when I get to a game.

Monday 10 January 2022

Is this just real life?

With the winter holiday break over, I'm back at work and trying to remember how the real world works. I have found some time to get in a practice game ahead of St Albans Smackdown, and have started work on prepping and assembling the Taigha I need for my lists. I'm working on getting them assembled first as days with undercoating weather at this time of year are few and far between. 

I'm also working through the Deathwatch I got back from my commission painter, changing the base rims and fixing a few dings they suffered in the post. I've already finished the first of them and will post some pictures later in the week.

Friday 7 January 2022

Salute 2021: Monkstone Miniatures

I've had my eye on Monkstone Miniatures for a while now. They make an assortment of weird creepy models that are very much my kind of aesthetic.

The first model they did that caught my attention was Glomm the Collector. He's a weird little snail person with lots of bits and pieces hanging from his shell. He was referred to in Forbidden Psalm, which is a Mork Borg wargaming campaign.

There's also a trio of fighting pig men, with this one being my favourite...

And new at the show were these creepy little Mandragores. They're adorable little fleshy lumps, and I kind of love them.

Monday 3 January 2022

Plans for the Year, Plans for January

Christmas has been and gone, and my hobby presents were limited to a few Kimera Colours paints to try out. I've tidied up the hobby area a bunch and am all lined up for some new hobby projects.

My plans to "only buy one miniature in December" catastrophically failed as a hobby shop decided to stop selling toy soldiers and listed their Infinity range at a 50% discount. New Year's Resolution: Stop Doing This.

I'm going to stop tracking "overdue models" on the blog. It turns into more time I'm spending tracking what I'm painting rather than painting.

I will try and stick to "only buy half as many miniatures as you've painted" - with one thing painted last month, I've got no "allowance" in January. We'll see how it goes. I'm still working towards buying Dungeon Bowl, I just need to be a bit more productive, and hopefully a clear hobby desk will facilitate that.

The plan for January is a revisit of my Shasvastii. St Albans Smackdown is on 5 February, and provided the island hasn't sunk into some new level of plague infested hell pit, I'm planning to go, with a Shasvastii force I've painted all myself.

I haven't finalised my lists yet, but the first priority is going to be the Ikadrons and the R-Drone, as those are models I commonly take. The Seed Soldier is probably next, with the Cadmus and E-Drone bringing up the rear.

Possibly even more importantly, I need to get these breach markers from Defiance assembled, painted up and based to work as Taighas, as I've found them absolutely key to making Shasvastii work as a force. I also need to check if any of the missions require a S1 turret model, and if so, get one of those painted.

The bonus goals on the assembly front will be to get the rest of the Defiance Scenery Pack prepped and undercoated ready for paint, and finishing up the base rims of my Deathwatch force.